Massed Israeli troops poised for invasion of Gaza
Air strike assassination of Hamas military chief signals start of major operation
WEDNESDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2012
Israeli troops massed on the Gaza border last night, poised for a possible ground invasion as Israel launched a major military operation it said was designed “to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure.”
Military sources told The Independent that a ground invasion was “a distinct possibility”. The army has deployed extra infantry units near the Gaza border, halted major exercises, cancelled soldiers’ leave and mobilised some reserve forces.
The opening salvo of Operation Pillar of Cloud was the pinpoint assassination by missile of the Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, as he drove through Gaza City, followed by aerial attacks against targets throughout the Hamas-controlled enclave. At least 10 Palestinians, including civilians, were reported dead.